Light This City
Facing the Thousand

I’ll make no bones about it. I liked this band. A lot. In fact, I prefer them to the like minded Darkest Hour and The Black Dahlia Murder as far as their modern take on slightly melodic, uber tight thrash metal is concerned. That’s right, I said I liked them better than Darkest Hour, and I hope, this, their third album will get them the attention they deserve and move them into the more high profile ranks of American Metal a la label mates All That Remains or even Unearth, as in my opinion, San Francisco’s Light This City are one of America’s most underrated acts.Fronted by the steady and venomous Laura Nichol, unlike fellow female fronted metal acts Walls of Jericho or Bloodlined Calligraphy, Light This City, never, ever let up; no ballads, no clean vocals, no gregarious experimentation, not even a breakdown or gang chant.;Facing the Thousand is pure and unabashed, high octane At The Gates worship; seething, blistering , cleverly, subtly melodic, furiously intense and there never seems to be a hint of ‘core’ of any sort amid the torrid riffage.

Starting with the orchestral build and steady percussive climb of the opening title track, you get the sense ‘something’ special is about to occur; and it does. The track literally explodes at the 2:40 mark with reckless, yet harmonic abandon. “Cradle for a King” hacks and slashes with tangible Darkest Hour pacing and a fine solo a the track’s end. The molotov cocktail of melody and riveting intensity continues for “The Unwelcome Savior” and the searing start of “Exile” which deftly shifts into some really nice melodies. Just when you think and feel that Facing the Thousand is gearing up for a mid-album reprieve, “Maddening Swarm”, keeps the pedal to the metal and “City of the Snares” displays just how good this band really is with just a brilliant stop/start riff and melody line that’s to die for.

Honestly , there is not a weak track on the album as even “The Eagle”, “Fear of Heights”, “Tracks of Decay” and “Like Every Song’s Our Last”, which could easy follow the album’s amazing first few tracks with somewhat of a letdown, but finish out the album with consistent energetic intensity and pin point riff delivery and drumming and makes Facing the Thousand an improvement over the impressive Remains of the Gods, it self a damn good album.

The abrupt ending of Facing the Thousand, results in a heavy breath finally being let out, as if ending some adrenalin fueled, white knuckle carnival ride. And like me, you will get right back in line for another go…..and another …. and another…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 21st, 2006

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